Rapid population growth, urbanisation and economic development in Africa offer opportunities for the Australian grain industry in the years ahead.

While these opportunities should not be under-estimated, serving existing valuable markets in North and South East Asia are expected to provide the best returns to Australian growers in coming decades.

This is the message from Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) Market Insights Acting Manager Chris Carter to the Grains Research Update in Perth, hosted by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Dr Carter’s findings are from an ‘Africa 2035 Insights’ project delivered by AEGIC through investment from Grains Australia.

Grains Australia, an initiative of the GRDC, is responsible for vital industry services and functions that improve the industry’s competitiveness and profitability.

Dr Carter said population growth, urbanisation and economic development in Africa were already affecting food consumption patterns and offered prospects for increased use of grain-based foods.

“By 2035 the population in Africa is tipped to increase by nearly 400 million people, responsible for about half of the world’s population growth,” he said.

“These developments position Africa as a robust source of new grain demand, necessitating increased local crop production, enhanced grain supply chains and dependable new grain import sources.

“However, the Australian grain industry’s attention should continue to be on serving the drivers of consumption growth in North and South East Asia which are existing, high paying markets.”

Dr Carter said Australia should remain focused on Africa as an opportunistic market and maintain connection through developing relationships and supplying expertise and technology.

“The industry should monitor African markets and seek to better understand changes in consumption towards more convenient food options and non-traditional food choices, as they occur,” he said.

Dr Carter said East Africa offered advantages for Australian grain, due to its shipping proximity, with relevant nations including Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

There was potential for imports of wheat in particular into Africa, with a rapidly growing gap between wheat production and consumption in East Africa and some other African countries.



Caption: AEGIC Market Insights Acting Manager Chris Carter has led an investigation of the opportunity that Africa may offer for the Australian grains industry towards 2035. Image: AEGIC.

About Grains Australia


Grains Australia delivers value to the Australian grains industry through the provision of industry services and functions including management of trade market access, classification, market insights and market education that improves the industry’s competitiveness and profitability.

Grains Australia is an initiative of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). GRDC leads investment in grains research, development and extension (RD&E) in Australia to create enduring profitability for grain growers.

A partnership between the Australian Government and grain growers, GRDC’s primary objective is to drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers and benefit the industry and the wider community.

Grains Australia and the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) are organisations that work together in an integrated way to drive better outcomes for Australian grain growers. AEGIC is a delivery partner for Grains Australia’s market insights and education services.

AEGIC is an initiative of Grains Australia and the Western Australian State Government, through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

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